The upcoming Netflix documentary series “Ladies First: A Story Of Women In HipHop” has been stirring controversy since the release of its trailer. Netflix announced the four-part series will air August 9. It will follow the journey and impact of women in the growth and evolution of hip-hop music.
The trailer for the series featured rappers Latto, Queen Latifah, Remy Ma amongst others, talking about the struggle women had to face within the hip-hop ecosystem and the incredible strides they have made and continue to make. Not long after its release people on-line began to point out that a few familiar faces were missing. Fans noted female rappers such as Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliott and Lauryn Hill weren’t a part of the project. Many particularly suggested that Nicki Minaj, who has contributed to the hip-hop soundscape, is an integral element in the story of women in hip-hop.
Podcaster Shawn Allen, who allegedly worked on the documentary project, is now providing some clarity around the glaring omissions.
“Nicki didn’t let us license her music & videos,” Allen wrote on Twitter in response to a fan questioning why Nicki Minaj and Missy Elliott weren’t featured in the upcoming documentary.
A fan inquired further, writing, “That’s not what we’re asking. Was the plan to include her?”
“Yes but it didn’t make sense bc she didn’t give us any licensing,” Allen responded to the question.
In a separate tweet, Allen also wrote, “I think bc Nicki is working on her own doc… I don’t understand why Missy didn’t agree.”
An Archival Effort
Despite the growing controversy surrounding the exclusion of Nicki Minaj and other prominent female hip-hop figures from the documentary, Ladies First is a landmark project that will center the perspective and viewpoints of the women who run Hip-Hop.
The series will have four installments each of which will feature legendary emcees like MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and Rah Digga whose works continue to trickle down the history of hip-hop. Artists currently at the top of the charts like Latto, and Tierra Whack alongside key figures from record labels, stylists, and journalists will also be a part of the special.
Neither Nicki Minaj nor Missy Elliott have made a statement regarding Allen’s claims.